Action: On Boobs, Booze & Boycotts

When I first posted about the Better than Beer advertisement I suspected that other women and men might also be offended. It seemed to me such a clear example of the objectification and degradation of a woman's body. And, objectification is sexist in that it promotes an idea on the most literal level, in this instance, that a woman must have three breasts to be better than beer. I don't think my kids or anyone else's kids need that. And whether a woman designed the campaign or not is irrelevant. The ad insults women. I encourage you to lodge a complaint with Advertising Standards Canada — it's a very quick and simple online process.

As I said in an earlier post, I've learned a lot from this. The first is to trust my instincts. The comments section at the original post provides just a glimpse of the net patriarchy casts. Apparently, I am self-righteous, a nitwit, and possessing an especially distasteful Saskatchewan quality, according to the Managing Editor of the magazine. Oh, and, my concerns are utter, one-sided crap.

But enough about me. Take a look at this from Better Than Brains:

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The "Boycott Bacardi" campaign began in the UK with questions about ethics and their meddling in the political affairs of Cuba.

When you drink Bacardi, you help to fund illegal attempts to break the back of the Cuban government. Through violence. To return to those idyllic pre-Castro days. (E.g. that time when clubs were segrated and even the President of the time Fulgencio Batista was denied access. Too bad he couldn't sing.)

One of the organizations they fund is the Cuban-American National Foundation. It has been linked to (though they deny it – surprise) the bombing of Cuban businesses among other terrorist acts. Oh wait, this is based in the land of the land of the F(r)ee and the originators of the War on Terrorism?

Colour me shocked. And awed.

Maybe that isn't reason enough to forego your favourite breezer or to switch what goes into your coke on that hot summer day.

Not into Socialism? How about some misogyny…

This morning, however, I was introduced to their current advertising campaign.

Nothing like a poster of a three-breasted woman with the words "Better than Beer" on it to brighten your day.

I "get" that the point is that Bacardi drinkers are smarter than beer drinkers, and would NEVER objectify women. *cough* Oh wait. That's exactly what the campaign does.

Ha ha ha. Look at the funny woman with the third breast.
Ha ha ha. Look at the stupid men who would think this is a great thing.
It can't be misogynist! A woman came up with the campaign!
It can't be misogynist! It's pointing out the shallowness of men!

Yes it can be misogynist, and it is…

And if you want to send a very clear message that it isn't acceptable, then Boycott Bacardi.

Boycott Bacardi - it'll leave a bad taste in your mouth!

Want to include it on your site?

<a href="http://betterthanbrains.blogspot.com/"><img src="http://static.flickr.com/63/171475939_77d0cf37a1_m.jpg&quot; alt="Boycott Bacardi – it'll leave a bad taste in your mouth!" border="0" /></a>

Help end the backlash. Boycott Bacardi.  Let Bacardi know what you think: email or phone 1-888-BACARDI

Putting safety back into the Social Safety Net

Today, in my inbox, something Minister Day should read.

Putting safety back into the social safety net
by Michelle Mann,
Law Times News
Monday, 19 June 2006

Excerpt:

Violence against women remains endemic in Canadian society despite
law-and-order approaches, making it imperative that we consider and address
systemic inequalities that perpetuate domestic violence.

Ontario's social assistance policies facilitate violence against women in
many ways, including subsistence-level rates, the treatment of fraud, and
assumptions of spousal economic dependency.

The erosion of social assistance rates in Ontario and across Canada has made
it difficult for women to get out of violent situations. Social assistance
rates that are grossly inadequate to address women's needs create a barrier
to their ability to leave or avoid abusive relationships.

Simply put, poverty and low payments leave lower-income women with few
options for survival. Abuse of women occurs in every economic stratum, but
financial disadvantage creates a stubborn barrier to escape.

Enhancement of social assistance rates won't eradicate violence against
women, but would give a lifeline to some of the most vulnerable women in
Canadian society.

Read the full article

With thanks to Barbara at DAWN Ontario

WHO calls for action on violence against women

Last year's World Health Organization (WHO) study found that domestic and sexual violence are serious public health problems worldwide.

“We have learned from our work here in the U.S. that we will not end violence by building shelters and training police officers and judges alone,” Family Violence Prevention Fund President Esta Soler said. “That work is crucial, but violence against women will not stop until communities and countries decide to stop it. So our goal must be to change the social norms that tolerate violence and allow women to be treated as chattel.”

Soler also urged lawmakers to support an international Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA), which will be introduced next year. “We unveiled an immensely promising strategy recently when more than 30 groups came together to begin a campaign for an international Violence Against Women Act,” she said. “This legislation will, for the first time, commit our government to end violence against women globally. It will address not only health sector responses, but also the economic conditions that can trap women, by promoting fair property rights and helping women avoid sexual violence on the job. It will focus on changing social norms, and look to men and religious leaders as allies. It will address the horrific levels of rape that too often occur during conflicts and humanitarian crises.”

WHO’s Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women is available at www.who.int/gender/violence/who_multicountry_study/summary_report/en/index.html